Campus Life

Texas A&M Launches Network For First-Generation Faculty And Staff

The Routh First-Generation Center will facilitate peer-to-peer education among first-generation college graduates working at the university.
By Ann Kellett, Texas A&M University Division of Marketing & Communications May 3, 2021

graphic that reads "1st generation faculty and staff" over image of an aerial view of campus

The Routh First-Generation Center, established at Texas A&M University in 2019, has launched a network of Texas A&M faculty, staff and administrators who were the first in their families to graduate from college, as well as others who want to support first-generation students.

“The fact that that our center was established and endowed so quickly says a lot about the importance of the university’s land-grant mission,” said Tim Scott, associate provost for academic affairs and the Office for Student Success, which oversees the Routh Center. “About 25 percent of our students are the first in their families to go to college. Now we are inviting others from the campus community to help these students.”

About 90 faculty and staff have joined the network so far, according to Leticia “Lety” Palomin, program coordinator at the Routh Center and self-proclaimed “proud, first-generation Aggie graduate.”

“The center is a one-stop shop for assisting first-generation students with their needs,” Palomin said. “We want to include faculty and staff to serve as mentors and give presentations to help other faculty and staff better understand the unique needs of this group of students.”

Navigating the maze of collegiate life is not easy for most first-generation students, Palomin said. Many come from low-income homes, and paying for college is often a major challenge. These students are more likely than others to have to work at least part-time to afford college.

In addition, they may not know how college “works”— how to register for classes, plan their academic progress, access financial aid, get help from professors, study effectively and so on.

“This new network of first-generation faculty and staff will add another important means to help make first-generation students successful at Texas A&M and prepared for leadership roles in their own careers,” Palomin said.

For more information and to sign up for the network, visit the center’s Faculty & Staff Resources page.

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